New York Rangers Ready to Rock; Season Set to Begin
Added by Ryan Heine on October 2, 2013.
(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
The New York Rangers are all set for their season opener on Thursday in Phoenix. After an ugly 1-5 preseason, this team definitely just wants to get started. The team returned home last week after playing their last four preseason games on the west coast, losing all four games by a combined 18-5 score. Needless to say the Rangers will look to get the bad taste out of their mouth as they start their nine-game road trip in Phoenix tomorrow night.
The team’s first four games will be out west before they slowly make their way back east for their October 28th home opener.
The lineup is looking just about complete heading into the opener.
As has been the question all summer, Callahan’s and Hagelin’s return dates are still in question. Larry Brooks reported that Callahan could be back as early as the team’s second game when the Rangers play Los Angeles on Monday. Without a doubt that would be the best-case scenario as we originally feared Cally would be out for the entire road trip. If the Rangers’ intensity looks anything like it did in the preseason, they will basically be desperate for Callahan and the spark he provides. It is also looking like Hagelin will in fact be out for the entire road trip, but we are still waiting for confirmation on that.
Rick Nash missed practice over the weekend with a sore foot after blocking a shot in a preseason game. He returned to the ice on Monday fortunately, and appears ready to go for Thursday. Katie Strang of ESPN reported that Callahan was in a non-contact jersey at practice on Tuesday. Callahan claimed that he is 100%, but if that is the case he should not be wearing a yellow non-contact jersey. This has to make you wonder if he really is 100%, or if he is rushing his return. We definitely do not want Cally coming back too soon and re-aggravating his shoulder injury.
The Rangers were working on their power play at practice on Tuesday. With Callahan out, the number one unit was: Miller-Stepan-Nash, Staal-Richards. The other unit included Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello, Del Zotto-Girardi. Hopefully these units can get the team going on the power play, as they have been miserable in that department for quite a few years now. We will have to wait and see.
Be sure to tune in at 10 PM (ugh) on Thursday for the opener in Phoenix!